Dear Colleagues-Friends,

February is American Heart Month and our colleagues have been sharing our expertise with the public. The Pauley Heart Center held its 4th annual Heart Health in Women symposium Feb. 2 at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. Gifted School of Medicine faculty, co-led by our cardiology leaders, Dr. Phoebe Ashley and Dr. Jordana Kron, covered a variety of topics such as heart disease in minority women, heart disease and emotions, CMR imaging in women with breast cancer, and clinical research in women.

The MCV Foundation’s inaugural Health Innovation Forum highlighted the extraordinary advancements in how we care for our cardiac patients. Held on Feb. 8, this forum featured a moderated discussion about current research and cardiac programs to raise awareness about VCU Health among the Richmond community. Another two of our cardiology leaders, Dr. Mary Ann (Mimi) Peberdy and Dr. Zachary Gertz discussed research partnerships with other universities and highlighted the partnership with VCU College of Engineering. This new forum aims to provide an inside look at the discoveries and novel treatments so that community members are a knowledgeable resource for family, friends and colleagues and was made possible as a result of the relationships developed through the MCV Foundation trustees under the leadership of Harry Thalhimer, Margaret Ann Bollmeier and Brian Thomas. We very much appreciate their commitment to “getting the word out” about your excellence in research and clinical care. We plan to extend the new Health Innovation Forum to other programs to “sing the praises” of all the services and innovations you all provide.

That evening, another of our top cardiologists Dr. Antonio Abbate received the inaugural Thames-Kontos Mentoring Award at the Department of Internal Medicine’s Celebration of Excellence. Former MCV student and faculty member, Dr. Marc Thames, generously created this award in honor of his mentoring relationship with former chair of Medicine and dean, Dr. Hermes Kontos. Also at that terrific celebration, our interim DOIM chair, Dr. Todd Gehr presided over the “passing of the baton” from Dr. John Nestler to Dr. Patricia Sime, our incoming chair. Additionally, Dr. Curt Sessler and Dr. Gehr recognized 23 DOIM members in celebration of the importance of their service as clinician educators. We were delighted to hear the VCUHS Orchestra in action at this event – powerful and heartwarming melodies. Congratulations to Dr. Francesco Celi for leading this.

Our thanks to all our leaders in the Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine and the Pauley Heart Center.

With appreciation for all you do,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System